layers

February 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm (grace, innocence, mothering, simplicity)

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layers of meaning, layers of moments. the complexity of life is astounding. my feelings shift quickly from a moment of gratitude to a deep lament.

i want so much for myself and my family. i feel the intensity inside, a fire burning, burning. i want to relish this short life despite the complications and annoyances and struggles.

when i was younger i wore crazy clothing…layers of velvet and satin. i ran about in the wee hours sweaty and stained, starving for more. those layers of old fabric sticking to my skin, concealing a black heart.

my self absorption was legendary. there was room for no one else in my narrative. i wrote the play of my life and cast all the players. i never let them break from their prescribed roles.

how unfair is that?

now i want safety. i want rest and comfort. i want peace for my children. i’m still selfish as hell. it’s a constant battle to put aside my pettiness.

the layers i work with now are the layers of protection i place around the tots. the prayers for safety and prosperity. the layers of meaning i need the children to understand so they can grow up and navigate the world with some degree of effectiveness.

i layer them in alternating emotional responses; love, annoyance, impatience, celebration, play, disapproval, and on and on.

they are bundled up for better or worse in the concept of reality i created for them. someday they will free themselves to write their own stories.

where will i be then?

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baby moon

February 16, 2008 at 12:07 pm (divine feminine, friendship, love, mothering)

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i went to a baby shower recently. i didn’t feel like going…i never do. i’m a hermit by nature and have to force myself out. fortunately, i’ve developed the ability to talk to anyone about anything and have enough charisma to make it charming and fun.

i was glad to honor my friend. it has been her dream to be a mother, long before it ever occurred to me. she suffered greatly to get here. even now, she’s facing an uncertain future with the father of the baby who refuses to move out of the home he lives in, deep in the mountains. he refuses to compromise in order to honor his partner and child.

oh well…at least she’s getting her baby. at 40 years old, she might not get another chance.

the baby shower was lovely. we played silly games, trying to guess the inches of the pregnant belly. we cooed over the little clothes and blankets. i couldn’t help thinking that my friend has no idea about what she is being initiated into. i didn’t know before i had my children.

a world of love and worry. a world of chaos and exhaustion. a lonely world at times.

we had a moment of prayer for the mom to be. i found myself hoping my dear friend would have an easy labor and birth. i hoped she could manifest more support than i did. i hoped that she would have time to rest with her newborn while others handled mundane daily details for her. i hoped she could create and relax into a lovely baby moon.

i also hoped that i could get myself together to offer her the support i longed for after giving birth.

we shall see…

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friend, so far

January 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm (friendship, history, mothering, wealth)

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my best friend lives far away. we talk on the phone once in a blue moon. the thread of our conversations pick up right where they were dropped as if no time has passed.

i miss her.

i wish we could raise our children together…create a modern commune of parenting and life. it’s tough to be out here on my own, no family worth mentioning.

she and i have a lot in common. both raised in affluent homes, both chose to strike out and live a life of adventure, both married to men of heart with little to no resources.

my mother used to say that the last, unspoken american prejudice was against the rich. i thought it was silly to complain of being so fortunate. now i see how this prejudice has shaped my choices. i felt self-conscious about our wealth, our home, the excess of it all. i felt a keen sense of injustice for those who had less. i never wanted to be identified with fur coats and fancy cars. i never felt comfortable fraternizing with the upper crust.

my friend feels the same though now, both of us with children, we lament the lack of security.

still we live rich lives. in my case, there is a richness to my struggle. if i had chosen to marry for money, to stay true to my upper class upbringing, i fear i would be floundering around trying to find meaning. i would be drinking heavily for sure and fighting the rage of another lunch date to discuss my most recent european holiday.

instead, i’m fighting the rage of seeing a culture out of balance, the inequities horrifying and dangerous. fighting to build the security my family needs with my own two hands and a mind that was idle too long. i feel grateful for the opportunity to discover my own creativity and strength now that the promise of inherited wealth is gone.

i continue to count my blessings for i am so very, very fortunate.

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precocious

January 15, 2008 at 5:40 pm (daughters, love, mothering, physicality)

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my daughter is intensity in motion. good natured and affectionate, she can also be slightly brutal when she wants her way. she pulls hair to show displeasure and in defense. she’s strong and capable and PRECOCIOUS.

i didn’t know if she was a boy or girl but late in the summer before she was born, one lone rose bloomed on the bush that flowers in spring. the little pink rose lasted for a week and my mother said it was a sign, our little girl announcing herself to the world.

birthing her was difficult. i was resistant to the pains of labor. i assumed that because i had given birth once before that it would be easy and quick. it seemed an eternity with slow progress. when the time came to push her out i experienced a primal fear. i felt certain that i couldn’t do it. she was big and got stuck and everyone panicked. i could see it all happening from somewhere slightly distant. there was a moment of wondering if i was going to be the woman whose baby died. just as i began to make peace with that possibility, she came sliding into the world.

i grieved her birth for it felt too rough. she cried for a week, her arm sore from tugging. she wouldn’t nurse and i was frightened. we found a groove eventually and her black hair grew into a mohawk. it stood straight up. she attracted attention from those closest to me and strangers as well. she has charisma.

i can see in her the complexity of woman. she is a dichotomy and a puzzle. she wakes in the night with a shriek, leaving me curious about what is haunting her. she is physical and unafraid, a climber and a talker. i know she has a message for the world, though it is yet to be articulated.

my mother’s mother calls her precocious. coming from a woman who gave birth to seven children, i think the label is appropriate. i wait patiently and expectantly as she unfolds.

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mothering

December 31, 2007 at 11:52 pm (divine feminine, innocence, love, mothering, reflection)

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i have two small children and i love them dearly. i wish i were more patient and focused on them.

i’ve always been a bit of a hermit, a private person. naturally, it’s tough for me to handle the chaos and demands that children bring. i am ashamed that i’m not better at the job.

i recently went back to work full time after spending three years with my son and one year with my daughter. it has been incredibly energizing to have a business to build. still, i feel some regret that i’m not one of those lovely mothers who is happy to care for the children all day, coming up with fun craft projects and trips to the park and the zoo.

i’ve found it difficult to bond with other mothers and women in general. there’s a thread of competition that seems to run through my interactions with other mothers and i’m always on the losing end. i find it amusing most of the time. i’m one of those people who wants to shout to the world I’M HUMAN…I’M A MESS AND I’M NOT GOING TO APOLOGIZE FOR IT.

there is some truth to this. i’ve been told that i’m incredibly accepting of others’ faults (though my husband would beg to differ). in my own internal world, i am mean as a snake in my self-reflective glory. i know what my potential is and i’m not there AT ALL. i’m not even trying.

that’s why the parenting haunts me a bit. i know i could do better and i just don’t.

still, they love me and i love them. i am so very very grateful they are here to help me become more of who i’m meant to be. bless them for this thankless task.

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